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Jun 10, 2011

Romans expects Shackleford to control Belmont pace


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Trainer Dale Romans is confident that Preakness Stakes champ Shackleford will be on the lead in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. However, his three-year-old colt will not exactly duplicate his last two races.

"Going 1 1/2-miles is totally different than either of those two races," said Romans. "I think if he can get a nice, slow, rhythmic pace, it would be perfect. But we don't want to go too slow. Going 1 1/2-miles, fast or slow, they're going to be getting tired at the end.

"We may have gone too slow in the Derby, because everyone came home so fast and we couldn't hang on. The Preakness was different (opening half in :46 4/5) and they struggled a little bit at the end, and we had the stamina to finish."

Shackleford controlled the pace in the Run for the Roses on May 7. He went the first half-mile in :48 3/5 and six-furlongs in 1:13 2/5. He tired down the stretch to finish fourth as Animal Kingdom won over Nehro by 2 3/4-lengths.

The updated weather forecast for the Belmont Stakes calls for cloudy skies with showers and thunderstorms. Post-time temperature around 70.

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